How Can Retailers Reduce Digital Shopping Cart Abandonment?

by | Apr 14, 2021

Top 6 E-commerce platforms to build a website with in 2021


Digital shopping cart abandonment is a big problem for online retailers. This happens when a user initiates a check out process on your online store but abandons the page before completing the purchase. So any product that was put in the cart but not purchased by the customer will be considered as “abandoned”. 

The cart abandonment rate (CAR) is a crucial metric that sellers should observe consistently. It’s important to understand why users are not going through with purchases, and how you can tackle such an issue. There may be aspects of your checkout process that customers find to be a hassle which you can change to reduce cart abandonment.

Is cart abandonment bad?

For an ecommerce store, cart abandonment is the brick-and-mortar equivalent of someone picking up a bunch of things, waiting in line at the checkout counter, and deciding they no longer want to buy the things. So they put the products back and walk out of the store without making a single purchase.  

And which business would ever want that? You want your users to buy your products and meet their expectations. Cart abandonments increase your bounce rate and decrease conversions. This is a bad sign for any business, so it’s important to reduce them as much as possible.

What can I do with abandoned shopping carts?

There are multiple ways to counter and reduce shopping cart abandonment. In this next section, we’ll go over some of the ways that online retailers can improve their checkout and site performance to achieve a seamless customer experience. 

1. Build trust in your payment forms 

When a customer adds a product to their cart on your ecommerce site, it means you’ve done a good job at building their trust. But that trust isn’t fully built until they get to the checkout page and add in their card details. So you need to ensure you’re doing enough to provide them with the safest checkout experience, where they’re not hesitant to put in their financial information.

By adding security logos in prominent places on the checkout page, you can add authenticity to your site. According to Shopify, 61% of consumers had not purchased something online because there were no trust logos on the checkout page, and more than 75% of consumers had abandoned a purchase because they didn’t recognize the trust logos.

security logos checkout

2. Include a progress indicator on your checkout pages

When customers are able to see what stage of the buying process they are at, it eliminates ambiguity and the potential worry that the process might be longer than anticipated. It assures them that they have just a few more steps left before they can move on with their regular social media scrolling.

There are several studies showing that consumers prefer to know their status in the process of completing a task. This is quite crucial in the checkout process too and looks as simple as this. 

progress indicator

3. Include thumbnail images of products throughout the checkout process

Sometimes when shopping online, a user will add a couple of products to their cart, but with all the scrolling and browsing, they forget which products they added. Or maybe they didn’t forget but want to see what they bought just to get that reaffirmation. But now they’re on the checkout page and there’s no thumbnail showing what they got. Going back to the cart page seems like too much of a hassle, and they’re not convinced they want to go through with the purchase. So they close the browser instead. And that’s an abandoned cart.

Most people don’t forget what they’ve added to their shopping carts, but similar to a progress indicator, thumbnail images of the products they put in their cart can provide reassurance on what they’re purchasing. It’s psychological. 

By including thumbnail images, you’re not just helping buyers remember what they did or bought on your site, but you’re also eliminating any possibility of them getting distracted or hesitant because they can’t remember what they added to their shopping carts. 

Simple and easy, just how Gymshark does it. 

product thumbnails on checkout

4. Offer multiple payment gateways 

E-commerce is all about giving the customers what they want, and this doesn’t just include the products you’re selling, but also the payment options you’re offering. What happens when a customer adds items to their cart, goes to the checkout page only to find that you don’t accept their preferred method of payment? Yes, there goes another abandoned cart. 

Giving multiple payment options, including StripePayPalApple PayGoogle Wallet, and Samsung Pay eliminates another potential reason for site users to not go through with their purchase. Make sure you have all these integrated on your website to provide your customers with a seamless shopping experience. 

payment gateways ecommerce

5. Save shopping carts automatically 

The average customer is indecisive. Your website should be designed to aid such users. Allow them to add products to their cart, and come back later to purchase. They shouldn’t have to browse through your store all over again; their carts should be saved automatically. This will make all the difference in the world for your store. 

When shopping online, customers want to take advantage of the added convenience which is the ability to return to an ongoing purchase any number of times, without any hindrance. By saving carts, you’ll see a vast increase in conversions. I say this from personal experience as an online buyer. 

6. Offer guest account options at checkout

The checkout process can be a great tool to collect your customer’s information and jump right into their emails with your newsletters, offers, and whatnot. But while this seems like a seamless way to you, it can be an added hindrance for the customer. According to data from Invesp, one of the biggest causes of shopping cart abandonment is a brand’s inability to provide a guest checkout option. 

Therefore, it’s essential that you provide your customers with the option to proceed as a guest, and not force them to create an account on your website before completing a purchase. Almost 14% of online shoppers have suggested that being forced to log in to complete a purchase is a sufficient reason for them to abandon their checkout process. Here’s how H&M does it. 

guest checkout

7. Offer live chat support. 

Unlike with shopping in physical stores where you have a talking, walking salesperson to assist you through your shopping experience, online shopping can lack a personal touch if there is no help offered in real-time. By having live chat support, you’re able to provide your users with assistance at any step of their online shopping journey, making them feel heard and supported. 

Through your cart abandonment analytics, you can identify which areas of the website cause users to drop out, and allow users to chat with customer representatives specifically through those pages. 

8. Create and highlight a solid refund and return policy.  

When shopping online, there’s always an element of doubt: what if the product isn’t what it looks like online? Hence, it’s important to build trust among your customers in regards to the quality of your products, but also give them the option to return or exchange their products if it isn’t up to their liking. It shows that your brand takes responsibility, and also cares for the customer. 

You should highlight this policy clearly in the earlier stage of the checkout process, enticing your customers to go through with the purchase.

9. Check for your page load speed

We stress the importance of page load speeds in every piece of content we write; that’s just how important it is. According to Potent (2019), website conversion rates drop by an average of 4.42% with each additional second of load time (between seconds 0-5). Moreover, almost 70% of consumers admit that a page’s speed impacts their willingness to buy from an online retailer.

If your pages take more than 2 seconds to load, you will see an increase in your bounce rate and a spike in CAR. According to Google, 57% of visitors will bounce if it takes more than 3 seconds for a page to load, and 80% of these users won’t be visiting your site again. So get your IT teams to examine your page speeds, and make sure they’re optimized for desktop, mobile phones, and tablets. 

10. Ensure your website provides complete and accurate product information 

Dimensional Research found that 95% of customers who have a bad experience with a brand will share this with another person, most likely through a social media platform. 

Consumers today are in a constant frenzy. Even with the convenience of ecommerce, they have little time to browse through entire websites. Product searches have become super specific, and if a website’s product data doesn’t give them all the information they want right away, they’re going to bounce! Ugh, bounce rates can be such a hassle if they keep increasing, right? I agree! 

Complete, accurate, and consistent product information is what converts. And decreases bounce rates- a metric we love to hear! When they find what they’re searching for, and are satisfied with what’s presented to them, they will not abandon carts. But if they see that your product descriptions lack consistency, your product images aren’t good quality, and there isn’t enough information about the products they’re interested in, they won’t go through with a purchase. 

Working on your product information is the first step to reduce CARs and increase conversions. And how can you do that? With product information management or PIM software. If you haven’t adopted one yet, we have the perfect solution for you. With Apimio PIM, you can reduce your site’s CAR, increase revenues, and avoid bad reviews that are detrimental to your brand. 

Having a single source of product data for your company is crucial, because once you’ve distributed it to multiple channels, it’s no longer in your hands, and you better hope it’s complete and accurate. 

Apimio is a smart product information management software that empowers you to collect, organize, centralize, and distribute product data to all your selling channels and teams. You can add complete product descriptions with high-quality images that meet industry standards and customers’ requirements. Sign up now! Today is the day to optimize your stores and reduce your CARs. 

Methods for cart recovery

Abandoned Cart Emails

If the user entered their email address during the checkout process before leaving your site, you’re in luck! You can send them an abandonment email reminding them that their products are awaiting. Another enticing tactic is to include a coupon code in the email. You can use the Care Cart or Marselo app on Shopify for this purpose. 

Abandoned Cart Retargeting 

Ad retargeting is another way to retarget the users who have visited your site and started the checkout process but didn’t complete it. You can do this by placing an ad pixel on your checkout page which allows you to advertise specifically to those users on other channels such as Instagram and Facebook. According to research on 99 companies, there is a 76% chance of getting clicks from retargeting: it has 10x the CTR. The added advantage of this tactic is that you can target users even if you don’t have their email or other data.

In Summary: 10 ways to Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment

It’s important to constantly audit your site and customer behavior on your online stores to understand what could be a possible reason for cart abandonment. Following the listed 10 steps will help you reduce your CAR and increase conversions. 

  1. Build trust in your payment forms. 
  2. Include a progress indicator on your checkout pages.
  3. Include thumbnail images of products throughout the checkout process.
  4. Offer multiple payment gateways. 
  5. Save shopping carts automatically. 
  6. Offer guest account options at checkout.
  7.  Offer live chat support. 
  8. Create and highlight a solid refund and return policy.  
  9. Check for your page load speed.
  10. Ensure your website provides complete and accurate product information. 

Read about how Apimio can assist in easier communication and collaboration between online retailers and manufacturers. Drive higher conversions and increased sales. Better product data management starts here. 

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